By Samantha Georgson
Change is never easy, and ending a career is no exception. Retirement Life Coach Mary Helen Conroy argues that instead of regarding this transition as the end of an era, you should view it as a new beginning, one with an abundance of fresh opportunities. Whether you’re approaching retirement or teetering on the prospect of a second career, Conroy offers a bit of life advice for crafting your next chapter.
FOCUS ON THE 3 R’s
REVIEW: It’s important to look back on those times in your life when you “really felt empowered,” says Conroy, and to reflect on the things that made you say, “maybe someday,” because that day is finally upon us. So, whether it was spinning clay or studying outer space, why not pick up that hobby that inspired you so long ago?
RETREAT: You have spent the last several years doing things for other people. Now, you’re at a stage of life where you can sit down with a cup of coffee and ask yourself, “What do I want to do as the CEO of my life?” says Conroy. “It’s the first time in our adult lives that it’s finally up to us to decide what that means,” she says.
RE-INVENT: Now is the time to think through the hard questions. Ask yourself, “Did I matter?” suggests Conroy, and think about the many ways that you’ve made a difference. Find the common threads that have come through all of your pursuits in life. These threads represent the many positive characteristics that you bring to the table, which you can bring into the re-invention stage when determining your next goal.
STRENGTHEN YOUR CURIOSITY
“Curiosity gets us out of being stuck,” says Conroy. “People need to walk out their door in order to get through this retirement phase.” She encourages people going through this transition to take advantage of the many “institutions of curiosity” that we have at our disposal. Whether that means sitting down at the library with a new book or taking a lap around the art museum, just make sure you get out there.
“We change our lives in the little moments,” says Conroy. “We don’t necessarily have opportunities to change them in big ways, but every moment we have the choice to find something new and put it in our wheelhouse.”
Check out Conroy’s website, lifesadaringadventure.com.